President-Elect Barrow joins ECOWAS leaders in Bamako summit

By Kebba Jeffang

Banjul, 12 January 2017 Mr. Geofrey Onyeama, Nigerian Foreign Minister at the end of a day mediation initiated by ECOWAS between President Yahya Jammeh and the President-Elect Adama Barrow aimed at resolving the political impasse in The Gambia, on Friday, told the press that Barrow will be flying with them to Bamako, Mali to enable the ECOWAS leaders hear from him directly for the first time since the election.

This Press Conference was attended by the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Chair of the Bloc and Ex-President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama. The Nigerian President who is the lead mediator of ECOWAS immediately left the Gambia, after meeting with outgoing President Jammeh.

Mr. Onyeama, said the ECOWAS team has met with both outgoing President Jammeh and President -Elect Barrow, the Chief Justice of The Gambia and two Electoral Commissioners. He said the team made it clear how seriously they took  the assignment and how determined  they are  to find a peaceful solution that accords with the Constitution of The Gambia and also reflects the will of the Gambian people as expressed in democratic election recently held.

He further disclosed that “the ECOWAS heads of state are meeting at the moment in Bamako in Mali and they have requested to meet the President-Elect Adama Barrow.  He added that in consultation with President Jammeh and President-Elect Barrow the ECOWAS team has decided to depart Banjul accompanied by President-Elect Barrow headed to Bamako, Mali to meet the ECOWAS Heads of State. The ECOWAS Mediation team would brief the ECOWAS Heads of State on the discussions to enable them take definitive decisions on the way forward.”

While responding to questions, he insisted that they could not discuss all the details for now but would give further information after the report to the Authority of Heads of State of ECOWAS.

He indicated that the  talks are not conclusive because the team was  appointed by the full body of ECOWAS Heads of state at the last Summit meeting  and would  obviously have to report to that body. He intimated that that body would also like to meet in person with the President-Elect  to hear from him directly. He said the Summit meeting will only take one day.